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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance [Language as a form]

Hi David,
Sorry I’m way behind. Respectfully:
Would it be fair to say that science needs art if both are to be creative? And that time and space are prototypical themes in both art and science? So, a 2-by-2 matrix with prototypical examples of the mash up in each quadrant. Just a thought.

> On Nov 27, 2014, at 3:00 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> I too liked Huw's comments, but for rather different reasons than his
> compelling defense of what Basil Bernstein calls "strongly framed,
> strongly classified" categories of knowledge. What I liked is the way
> that he brought in Dickens, simultaneously enriching and undermining
> his argument.
> On the one hand, Dickens is the ultimate in blokish writers (I can't
> think of a single likeable or even bearable female character in the
> whole of his oeuvre). On the other, Dickens will begin a book (e.g.
> "Hard Times") with a clear list of characters he intends to slate
> (utilitarians and political economists) and then he'll attribute views
> to them that are really quite the opposite of what they hold (real
> utilitarians and political economists actually agreed with Mr. Sleary
> that work is a curse and that "The people mutht be amuthed"). So in
> addition to being a blokish writer, Dickens is a bit of an
> intellectual slob (as opposed to a snob): a masher-together-er, to put
> it more charitably.
> But by bringing in Dickens I think Huw also brings in the
> aesthetic--and even the ethical. And here what Huw says about strongly
> framed and strongly classified (or "technical") categories of
> knowledge is much less compelling. I have been arguing for a
> perspective that is "trans-disciplinary" rather than
> "inter-disciplinary", where inquiries into art and into science alike
> can be based on themes like quantity, history and structure rather
> than narrowly defined according to objects of study such as matter,
> living things, society and consciousness; it seems to me that if
> strongly framed and strongly classified categories of knowledge must
> predominate in scientific categories (else it is hard to see how the
> hiearchical structures Vygotsky sees as essential to science concepts
> can emerge) then weakly framed and weakly classified categories of
> knowlede necessarily predominate in aesthetic ones, and even in
> ethical ones (which I believe are closely related).
> We are reaching the end of the semester in my class on immersion
> education, in which I adopted a syllabus idea I stole from Carol
> Macdonald, to wit, that immersion classes might begin with classes
> like Physical Education, Music and Mathematics (where word meaning is
> not a central concern) and only end with classes like (Natural)
> Science, Social Science and Ethics. That means that this week my
> students are preparing immersion classes in ethics. One of my students
> contested the idea that ethical education was for higher grades only,
> so I asked her when she thought ethics education should begin.
> She said that ethics education really begins with a mother holding a
> newborn infant. On my way home from class, I thought of Martin's work
> on the prisoner's dilemma, and how it fit, quite despite itself, into
> a whole tradition of neo-Kohlbergian ethics education. And I was
> reminded of Carol Gilligan's and Nel Noddings' critique of
> Kohlberg--the critique that by emphasizing the autonomous individual
> above the relational one, and "justice" above "caring", Kohlberg had
> constructed a blokish ethics, for gentlemen only. It is also an ethics
> for small businessmen rather than young mothers and teachers: Mr.
> Sleary and his creator would have been amuthed.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> On 27 November 2014 at 20:46, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have been reading McLellan's "new abridgement" of Capital recently.
>> Probably my most powerful impression is the prevalence of the conditions
>> Marx documents.  Unlike writers of fiction today, it is quite clear to me
>> that his contemporary, Dickens, was barely required to lift a few stones to
>> find the extremes of luck, fate and chance that he also portrays.  A
>> second, more palliative, impression is the documentation of the source of
>> so many of the problems arising in working conditions that remain with us
>> today, albeit in more 'civilised' form.
>> Regarding 'muscularity', I find it interesting to consider how technical
>> utterances and work-a-day competences do tend to carry a certain kind of
>> muscularity in a literal sense of holding steady.  To be technical is to be
>> precise under varying conditions in which one holds those conditions steady
>> and it is normal to hear technical discourse with some degree of
>> articulatory stress and moderate facial tension etc.  Under such
>> circumstances, one doesn't merely pile up the words in additive form but is
>> concerned with their configuration and placement.
>> On the business of the objectivity of consciousness and focal distinction
>> between the experience of consciousness and that which yields it, I think
>> we can make the same statement about any scientifically studied phenomena.
>> We are not aware of the internally manifest form of any kind of internal
>> calculus undertaken by a studied system, yet we may study it from without
>> (with meter readings etc) and perform equivalent calculations and follow
>> the transformations taking place.  Alternatively, we can study that
>> calculus as a system itself, which will have, again, its own internal
>> manifestation.  That's how we come to improve our approximations...
>> Best,
>> Huw
>> On 27 November 2014 at 07:07, Patrick Jaki <patrick.jaki@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Am sad about the uncalled for attention. We can still debate robustly and
>>> at the same time remain civil.
>>> Patrick.
>>> On 27 November 2014 at 08:48, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>>> Carol Et al
>>>> It is a short holiday week in the US and I am on the road visiting family
>>>> and friends. I have only limited access and am trying to think about what
>>>> it means to have participants with such varied histories with the
>>> discourse
>>>> community and its topic and such varied backgrounds. Uncharted territory.
>>>> For those who care to see XMCA continue, I suggest that you read and
>>>> reflect on the 30+ history of this discourse community. The summaries
>>> that
>>>> I know of can be found at
>>>> LCHC.ucsd.edu under history archives. There are two summaries there that
>>>> go
>>>> back to roughly 1983.
>>>> Further comment without people stopping to familiarize themselves with
>>>> prior history and without having participants ceasing to seek  solutions
>>> to
>>>> the current confusions in the iniatives taken by others rather than in
>>>> collective action in which they share responsibility seems unlikely to
>>> bear
>>>> fruit that can nourish a productive future.
>>>> All sorts of alternatives are possible.
>>>> One alternative is not possible, and that is to eschew personal
>>>> responsibility and lay it on the shoulders of a 76 year old "retired
>>>> professor" whose inadequate understanding of the core issues of the role
>>> of
>>>> culture in the development have been thoroughly documented by numerous
>>> real
>>>> experts over decades.
>>>> The record is there, open to all.
>>>> Check it out. Then we can assess the future.
>>>> Good luck to us all
>>>> Mike
>>>> On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com
>>>> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','carolmacdon@gmail.com');>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi
>>>>> There have been some off list postings about this phenomenon. None of
>>> it
>>>>> complimentary.  This cannot be sorted out in one move.
>>>>> I propose that we move onto a different thread -  topic.
>>>>> Mike, would you like to start us off on something new?
>>>>> Carol
>>>>> On 27 November 2014 at 02:49, Martin John Packer <
>>>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Andy, if you're going to retire, then retire. But don't aim one or
>>> two
>>>>>> more underhand blows behind the feint of retiring.
>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>> On Nov 26, 2014, at 7:24 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>>>>> Well this bloke will retire again at this point. I thought for a
>>>> brief
>>>>>> moment there, I thought we had a breakthrough. Certainly, Huw's "real
>>>>>> illusion" is perfectly apt to my mind (it's an expression Marx uses),
>>>> or
>>>>>> in  Eric Fromm's words, an illusion with "survival value." Martin
>>> says
>>>>>> "Consciousness is an objective process that *sometimes* can *give
>>> rise
>>>>> to*
>>>>>> illusions." As Vygotsky says "For him psychology is partly
>>>>> phenomenology."
>>>>>>> Andy
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>>>>> Bruce Robinson wrote:
>>>>>>>> Henry,
>>>>>>>> Your wife's question leads to another: who speaks for the silent
>>>>>> majority, many of whom, like me, must be getting fed up with what
>>>> David K
>>>>>> calls a "rather blokish struggle for power over particular words'?
>>> [Not
>>>>>> Richard Nixon :)]
>>>>>>>> Bruce R
>>>>>>>> PS: You may also note that I have not changed the subject heading
>>> of
>>>>>> this message so that it bears no relation to the content. Something
>>>> else
>>>>> I
>>>>>> find irritating...
>>>>>>>> On 26/11/2014 17:16, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Sister Analisa,
>>>>>>>>> Thank you for responding! I was just talking to my wife (getting
>>>>>> personal!) about the chat. She asked me, "How does anyone get to
>>>>>> participate in the (XMCA) chat if only a few people take part?" I
>>>>> wondered
>>>>>> in my email below if too much was expected of written communication
>>> in
>>>>> the
>>>>>> XMCA chat. With 800 people potentially taking turns, well...what is
>>>> even
>>>>>> possible logistically? Mike Cole has talked about this, and, I think,
>>>> has
>>>>>> some suggestions on how to deal with the bottlenecking. But even
>>> small
>>>>>> scale communication can be daunting. I watched, with my wife, a
>>> Richard
>>>>>> Linklater movie last night, "Before Midnight". Two people, face to
>>>> face,
>>>>> in
>>>>>> a totally committed relationship, smart people, good people, trying
>>> so
>>>>> hard
>>>>>> to get it right. Always a work in progress. But it's worth it. The
>>>>>> alternative is despair. I am sure of this: This chat, which seems to
>>>> get
>>>>>> bogged down in abstractions, pure thinking in the mud, is really
>>>>>> consequential beyond the sensitivities of academics. I said we
>>>>>>>> va
>>>>>>>>> lue Vygotsky's "heroism", but that's too macho. I should have
>>> said
>>>>>> courage.
>>>>>>>>> The Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis is a powerful idea, often
>>>> called
>>>>>> the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis. Google it. Really. See what you think.
>>> One
>>>>>> gauge of the power of an idea is if it has found its way into popular
>>>>>> discourse. I just this morning heard an NPR radio program (thanks
>>> again
>>>>> to
>>>>>> my wife, who was listening when she heard something she thought I
>>> would
>>>>> be
>>>>>> interested in) that dealt with the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis in its
>>> strong
>>>>> and
>>>>>> weak form.
>>>>>>>>> Henry
>>>>>>>>>> On Nov 25, 2014, at 10:11 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <
>>> annalisa@unm.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Dear Henry,
>>>>>>>>>> Thank you for your reply.
>>>>>>>>>> I don't think being personal (or even personable) requires being
>>>>>> heated. Does this have to do with my comment of warmth as a sign of
>>>>> welcome?
>>>>>>>>>> To speak about culture non-personally is not something I am
>>> adept
>>>> at
>>>>>> doing. We are always speaking from where we stand, the culture that
>>> we
>>>>> are
>>>>>> in or from, what-have-you.
>>>>>>>>>> Respectfully, I do not know what "linguistic relativity
>>>> hypothesis"
>>>>>> is. So please be patient with me while I connect this academic idea
>>> you
>>>>>> have offered to this conversation so that I can relate that to my
>>>>> personal
>>>>>> experience speaking on this thread, though clearly I'm not speaking
>>>>>> literally right now, but it is speech from me, not a sock puppet with
>>>> my
>>>>>> voice thrown from the position of objective reality.
>>>>>>>>>> You are talking about speaking two languages. But it seems we
>>> are
>>>>> all
>>>>>> speaking English on this list. So I'm a bit lost right there what you
>>>> are
>>>>>> trying to say to me.
>>>>>>>>>> Then, you speak of metalinguistics and how it represents
>>> different
>>>>>> worldviews, if you don't mind me swapping your use of "perspective"
>>> for
>>>>>> worldview. There is a lot of time clearing muckups to get it right.
>>> I'm
>>>>> not
>>>>>> sure that it ever gets right though, which troubles me. I have found
>>>> that
>>>>>> many people who have different worldviews communicate by "talking
>>> to,"
>>>>>> rather than "talking at." I feel, for example, you and I are talking
>>> to
>>>>> one
>>>>>> another, despite our likely different POVs.
>>>>>>>>>> I don't know what the "perish and dapple of Andy" means when you
>>>> say
>>>>>> that. From what I can tell he's trying to define something for
>>> himself
>>>>>> asking for the help of others. That's fine and I'm learning that
>>>>>> definitions are very bas-relief for him. I think my interests are a
>>>>> little
>>>>>> different. So I'd prefer to orient to my interests, if that is OK.
>>>>>>>>>> Speaking of metalinguistics, rather than debate over
>>> definitions,
>>>>> I'm
>>>>>> more interested in speaking to the very different people who are on
>>>> this
>>>>>> list. The rumor is there are 800 folks out there. Where are you? :)
>>> To
>>>>>> reference a highly academic quote from the Wizard of Oz:
>>>>>>>>>> "Come out, come out wherever you are, and meet the young lady
>>> who
>>>>>> fell from the star!"
>>>>>>>>>> --Glinda, the Good Witch from the North (waves magic wand)
>>>>>>>>>> I'm curious how others have been inspired by Vygotsky and
>>>>>> sociocultural theory, and even other manifestations of his ideas,
>>> such
>>>> as
>>>>>> CHAT, etc and how people are using these approaches in their work.
>>> What
>>>>> is
>>>>>> that like for you? And to be more specific, what is that like for
>>> women
>>>>> and
>>>>>> people of color? I'm also interested in thinking-out-loud with others
>>>>> about
>>>>>> Vygotskian concepts that are not easy to understand; to employ in
>>> real
>>>>> time
>>>>>> dialogue and social interaction to leap over zopeds together. Isn't
>>>> that
>>>>>> what a listserv is for? Or am I being too idealistic?
>>>>>>>>>> I have tried to speak in an open, easy, and immediate manner, to
>>>>>> allow others to engage. But I fear that engagement is never going to
>>>>> happen
>>>>>> because all that persists are conversations about definitions, or
>>>> whether
>>>>>> nothing can come from nothing, and voila! subsequent debates ensue.
>>> Or
>>>>>> someone will say, "We already discussed this 20 years ago!" Which
>>>> means I
>>>>>> missed the party, I suppose. Unfortunately, if I disagree with a
>>>> position
>>>>>> because I interpret differently, then I'm told to go read something
>>>>> without
>>>>>> really a clear explanation why I'm supposed to go read something.
>>>>>>>>>> I don't really agree with the approach of "read this," as an
>>>>> academic
>>>>>> argument. Anyone is free to use it, and I have myself, but because I
>>>> know
>>>>>> how obtuse that can be, I couch it with my reasons why I think it
>>> would
>>>>> be
>>>>>> a good read for that person, and what I think there is learn from
>>>>> reading.
>>>>>> I think the "read this" approach, when it is offered with the tone of
>>>>> "now
>>>>>> go eat your vegetables!" fails in the making of speech between
>>> people.
>>>>> All
>>>>>> it does is shut things down.
>>>>>>>>>> If the reading truly is relevant, it seems far more productive
>>> in
>>>>> the
>>>>>> moment of speech to cue a person what to look for, to supply a
>>> context,
>>>>>> especially when referencing an entire book, for example, or the link
>>> to
>>>>> an
>>>>>> entire website full of texts.
>>>>>>>>>> Your assessment in the physicality of language is something with
>>>>>> which I am completely in agreement. Especially since we all seem to
>>>> agree
>>>>>> with the material aspects of language. So the question at hand is a
>>>>> matter
>>>>>> of form. Form has an aesthetic but also has a purpose. Are we
>>> throwing
>>>>>> ropes or throwing boulders? If throwing boulders, where does that
>>> need
>>>> to
>>>>>> throw boulders come from? If throwing ropes, then at least
>>> connections
>>>>> are
>>>>>> being made for those who might not be very clear about ideas and who
>>>> may
>>>>>> require a helping hand.
>>>>>>>>>> Then there's the old, but handy, elliptical comment, something
>>>> like
>>>>> a
>>>>>> boomerang... meant to be subtle or ironic at the expense of someone
>>> who
>>>>> may
>>>>>> not understand.
>>>>>>>>>> At this point, I'd to emphasize that being ignorant is not being
>>>>>> stupid, but it seems someone who is ignorant is frequently treated as
>>>>>> stupid (um, on this list). This "phenomenon" has made me reflect upon
>>>> how
>>>>>> little time is spent upon the nature of ignorance in education and
>>> the
>>>>>> dynamics of ignorance in speaking. Every one of us is ignorant about
>>>> most
>>>>>> things in the world. And yet being ignorant is seen as an
>>>> embarrassment,
>>>>> a
>>>>>> deficiency, a lapse in character. I vehemently disagree with this
>>>>> reception
>>>>>> to ignorance. Even Einstein said something like, "The more I know,
>>> the
>>>>> more
>>>>>> I see how much I don't know." Such an aggressive position toward
>>>>> ignorance
>>>>>> is nothing but hurtful, even arrogant. Arrogance is a blister, a
>>>> defense
>>>>>> mechanism from previous hurt. A person who is honest about one's own
>>>>>> ignorance is a very strong person and is showing a willingness to
>>> learn
>>>>>> something. I think all teachers will agree that a person who knows
>>> one
>>>>>> doesn't know is an easier student to teach tha
>>>>>>>> n
>>>>>>>>>  one who doesn't know one doesn't know.
>>>>>>>>>> Iconicity is something I can hang my hat on. I see it is related
>>>> to
>>>>>> pointing. What I like about pointing is that it is a gesture, which
>>>>> implies
>>>>>> movement, in the way the word is also movement. I hope I have made
>>>>>> sufficient personal connections to your concepts without the heat.
>>>> Thank
>>>>>> you for offering them to me.
>>>>>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>> --
>>>>> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>>>>> Developmental psycholinguist
>>>>> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
>>>>> Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>> --
>>> *Patrick Jaki*
>>> *P. O Box 505 WitsJohannesburg2050South Africa*